Word of the Day

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


\KAY-vee-at; KAV-ee-; KAH-vee-aht\ , noun;
a warning or caution; admonition.
Law. a legal notice to a court or public officer to suspend a certain proceeding until the notifier is given a hearing: a caveat filed against the probate of a will.
I must beg leave, before I finish this chapter, to enter a caveat in the breast of my fair reader; and it is this: Not to take it absolutely for granted, from an unguarded word or two which I have dropped it, "that I am a married man."
-- Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, 1759
So the owner of a balky horse would issue the caveat, "You'll be surprised to see the way he works," the surprise being that he would not work at all.
-- Roger Welsch, Mister, You Got Yourself a Horse: Tales of Old-Time Horse Trading, 1987
Caveat comes from the Latin caveat, "let him beware," from cavere, "to beware."
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